Consulting With The Coaches

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Damar Hamlin's return to Buffalo brings comfort to Bills as AFC playoff preparation begins

ConsultingCoaches

There were a lot of smiles in the building at One Bills Drive on Monday, and for good reason. University of Cincinnati Health physicians cleared Damar Hamlin to fly home to Buffalo on Monday and be transferred to a hospital in the Buffalo area.

Hamlin arrived safely in Buffalo where he is still receiving care. But knowing he's back home is the latest chapter of what has been a storybook weekend in his path to recovery.

"What a blessing, just incredible progress that he's made and incredible care that he's been under, both in Cincinnati and now here. So we're just very thankful for that," Bills head coach Sean McDermott said. "Just thankful that Damar is back and resting in Buffalo here."

McDermott briefly saw Hamlin when he touched down in Buffalo earlier in the day and shared an update as to how he's doing.

"(Hamlin's) just very tired but he seems happy and happy to be back in Buffalo and around a familiar area to him," he said.

Bills players over the past week expressed their elation as they continued to hear better and better news beginning last Wednesday night about Hamlin's progress. The overwhelming feeling from them was that they couldn't wait to hug their teammate again.

Bills players over the past week expressed their elation as they continued to hear better and better news beginning last Wednesday night about Hamlin's progress. The overwhelming feeling from them was that they couldn't wait to hug their teammate again.

McDermott said that the team will have a chance to see Hamlin in person at some point soon but those details are still being worked out. For now, Facetime will suffice just as Hamlin was on the phone to break down the team huddle after Sunday's 35-23 win over New England.

"We will have a plan in place. We'll work through that at the proper time," McDermott said.

As the team takes comfort in knowing one of their own is back in Buffalo, there is still a playoff game to prepare for this week with the AFC Wild Card round. McDermott shared that while Hamlin won't be physically present in the team facility this week, having him back in Buffalo will continue to help the Bills' mentality this week as they begin practice.

"Having him nearby will give us more comfort. I know his parents are going to be with him there, and I think that helps as well, and knowing that he's well taken care of," McDermott said. "I just think overall it just continues to put our minds at ease that he's in good hands and he's moving in the right direction."

Sunday, Hamlin was able to watch the game from the hospital room in Cincinnati with his family and the health physicians revealed in Monday's Zoom call that Hamlin had been able to get up and walk since Friday night. So of course, Hamlin stood up and yelled with excitement after Nyheim Hines' 96-yard opening kickoff return for a TD.

"That's great to hear," McDermott laughed. "Super excited for him that he got a chance to watch it for sure. And he's such a great person and he's got such a positive spirit."

As the Bills begin their preparation for Round 3 vs. the Miami Dolphins, the team is expecting another raucous crowd at Highmark Stadium that will be revved up after Sunday's storybook win.

"I know our fans and they love playoff football and we can't wait to be out in front of them this weekend. They did such a fantastic job this past weekend supporting the team and the crowd noise," McDermott said.

"No one likes coming to Buffalo, especially this time of year. So I can't wait to see our fans take full advantage of that this weekend."

An emotional win at Highmark Stadium. Check out the best postgame photos from Buffalo's 35-23 win over the Patriots to close the 2022 regular season.

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